From the moment I stepped on the College Street car, I knew something was abuzz.
“I smell something burning,” one woman told her travelling companion, a sentiment echoed a split-second later by someone else.
The driver walked to the back, looked, sniffed, and returned to his seat.
Over the P.A. system, he gruffly told us: “Whoever tried to light the joint, don't do it again. If you do it again, everyone's goin' off and the police are comin' on.”
Much low muttering amongst the passengers.
As we approached Dovercourt Street (I was going to the West End Y to try and undo some Christmas overeating damage), a young man in an olive bomber jacket and navy blue fisherman's cap asked the driver, “What was problem?”
The young man spoke with a Russian accent.
“Some guy tried to light a joint,” the driver replied, slowing down for Dovercourt.
“What is 'joint'?” the young man asked.
Major eye-rolling and forced expulsion of air through the nostrils by the driver.
“Look, forget it,” he told the guy, shaking his head in exasperation. “If you don't know, you don't know.”
At Dovercourt, as I was leaving, I told the driver with a commiseratory grin, “Have a good night.”
He laughed and said: “It's gonna be a long one!”